What the world needs now….

I’d like to stop your social media newsfeed and share THIS:

What The World Needs Now is LOVE

When you live abroad, you often have to stay up late or get up early to watch important news coverage. Like last night, my husband stayed up and watched football before the debate, while I opted to take a power nap and set my alarm for the 2:00am showing.

I’ve seen a lot on my social media feeds about hating certain candidates and I just can’t handle it anymore. I was blown away by the last question of the debate, when asked “Name one thing that you respect about one another.” This is something that needs to be asked time and time again, not just from candidates, but from one another. What is something that UNITES us rather than divides us? What do we have in common? What redeeming qualities do we have? Everyone was once a sweet baby, a child loved and adored by their parents, or by someone. Many people are someone’s parent, who are adored and honored. Several people are someone’s sister or brother, someone who means the world to someone else. We need to remember this. We need to be grateful for the BEAUTY that we have in this world.

So, instead of being ashamed of the state of our nation, let’s use this as a wakeup call to love one another more. Go hug your loved ones, hell, go hug someone you don’t know!, take time to talk to your colleagues, take an interest in someone else. Find common ground. We don’t have to like one another, but we can find a way to love one another. We are all children of God.

“Our job is not to find out what is wrong and fix it, our job is to find out what is right and spread it.” -Guru Singh

I love you all.





I’m Smiling. Happy World Smile Day!


It’s not a secret that this past year has been one of the hardest for me. I will share that with anyone. Shyness is not a trait that I possess. Between battling post partum depression, moving to a new country with two under two, living with a baby who doesn’t sleep well, learning a new language and new culture….well, it’s really challenged me. People ask me “How are you?” or “How is life in Benin?”, I often responded with something like “Well, having two small children anywhere is difficult..” or “I’m tired.” You can imagine how excited people have been to talk to me after a reply like that.


Then, just last week, a friend asked me “Hey, how are you?” I responded with “I am happy, I am optimistic, I am excited, I am well-rested.” She looked at me and said “Really?” I said “No, but I am working on it. I am putting it out there, so it will come back to me. It’s GOING TO HAPPEN.” We both laughed and we had a good talk about how much we all need to smile because we’re all being challenged in different ways. I’ve seen her a few times since then and she asks me “How are you?” and I say “I am smiling.” Then, we laugh.


It’s only fitting that today is World Smile Day. The following is taken from http://www.worldsmileday.com.


“As is well known by now throughout the world Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts created the smiley face in 1963. That image went on to become the most recognizable symbol of good will and good cheer on the planet.


As the years passed Harvey Ball became concerned about the over-commercialization of his symbol, and how its original meaning and intent had become lost in the constant repetition of the marketplace.  Out of that concern came his idea for World Smile Day®. He thought that we, all of us, should devote one day each year to smiles and kind acts throughout the world.  The smiley face knows no politics, no geography and no religion.  Harvey’s idea was that for at least one day each year, neither should we.  He declared that the first Friday in October each year would henceforth be World Smile Day®. Ever since that first World Smile Day® held in 1999, it has continued every year in Smiley’s hometown of Worcester, MA and around the world.


After Harvey died in 2001, the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation was created to honor his name and memory.  The Foundation continues as the official sponsor of World Smile Day® each year.


This website was created to provide information about  World Smile Day®, Harvey Ball and Smiley.  Browse the archives to learn more about past World Smile Day® events, Smiley and his creator – Harvey Ball.  And be sure to join the celebration this year on Friday, October 7th, and “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile”!”


In honor of World Smile Day, I am baking cookie bars to share at the Embassy and with my staff, neighborhood guards, my kids teachers and my local fruit & vegetable vendors. I am committed to keep smiling, not just today, but because the more I smile, the easier it is to remember all the blessings that I have that make me smile.


Why are you smiling today? What will you do for World Smile Day?


When life gives you lessons…

One day a few years back I had a particularly challenging day at work. As my husband and I were eating dinner, we often like to talk about the best and worst part of our days, and lessons that we have learned. So, when he asked me about my lesson of the day I replied “When life gives you lessons, you CAN’T make LESSONADE!” We both had a good laugh and like usual, he gave me a pep talk.

Now, a few years later, after experiencing MUCH greater challenges–adding two children, plus three international moves and several job changes–I have realized that I CAN make Lessonade. It’s all about what I ADD to it that determines how sweet or sour it is. It’s all about my choice in deciding if I can stomach it or not. You see, Lessonade is often very sour and sometimes sweet, but I have found that it’s always what I NEED.

So, herein lies my new blog; I hope you enjoy my musings on the sweet and sour lessons of motherhood, mindfulness, and more. I look forward to connecting with you and hearing about the flavors of your Lessonade.